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Landing at Toronto - our journey

Landing at Toronto - our journey

Old Feb 10th 2020, 5:09 pm
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Default Landing at Toronto - our journey

I promised to relate my experiences “Landing” at Toronto Peterson Airport, I cant believe that it was 2 months ago.

My wife who is Canadian and I arrived at lunchtime and proceeded to Immigration which was different to our last visit during the Summer, no arrival cards to fill out but banks of machines, luckily with a human to give advice. We only were required to fill in one application despite me having to activate my PR. After a short line up, we were directed to another hall that had what appeared to have a 15 yard line. After a wait of about 2 hours we made it to the front and were processed in about 5 minutes. The delays appeared to be caused by people in front not having the correct documentation or proof of entry. The staff were polite and correct becoming friendly when it was obvious that there was not going to be a problem. Paperwork stamped and given a “Welcome to Canada”.

We were given some good advice by the Immigration Officer which included, get your Social Insurance Number at the booth on the way out of Immigration, it only takes 5 minutes and saves another journey. The Government do not give out Health Cards anymore and will rely on your driving license for identification, if you do not drive, you can get an Ontario ID Card which serves the same function. A useful point counting time towards citizenship, as long as you are with your sponsor when out of the country, it is counted as being in country for computation purposes. So holiday abroad are not a problem as long as you are with your sponsor.

We picked up all 11 items of luggage and proceeded to Customs, the officer did not appear to be interested in our baggage, only the unaccompanied items for which we had the correct paperwork. After going to the cashier for the correct stamp, no money required, we were free to go.

Clearing our unaccompanied goods was interesting as the Customs Office is on the Cargo side of the Airport. We tackled this after a couple of days settling in by going back to the Airport and getting a taxi to the Customs Office, about a 20 minute ride. There was no line but we nearly had a problem as the shipment was in my Wife’s name and she had no proof that she had been out of the country for 22 years. The problem was solved when we explained that I had just “Landed” and it was my goods. Documents stamped, photographed and then emailed to the shippers. The next lesson learned was that we should have set up a local mobile phone account as it was difficult to get a taxi back to civilization using my overseas number.

My PR card arrived after 2 weeks, very fast.

Exchanging my UK license was a simple procedure with a paper copy issued immediately and the card to follow after a couple of weeks, the eye test was over in 5 seconds. Getting registered for Ontario Health Cover which requires 3 months wait, was more interesting. Because I had a driving license, I had one item from each of the 3 lists required to register. My wife had no license so had to open a bank account solely in her own name and get a bank statement mailed to her, a shared account was not acceptable as were letters, it had to be a mailed statement.

Lessons Learned
1. Get a mobile phone as soon as possible, a local number solves a lot of headaches.
2. Make sure that you check before packing what documents you will need, if in doubt carry them with you.
3. Make sure that your Driving License is valid. We met a Canadian returning with an expired license who had to redo his test.
4. You will have no credit history, get your bank manager to tell you how to build up your history quickly and get a local credit card.
5. Check on the internet what documents you will need when dealing with authorities, there is no leeway, if it isn’t on the list, it is not acceptable.

We were lucky and missed the major traps thanks to this site so had an easy ride, thanks to everybody for your help. I now just need to learn how to speak and understand Canadian English 😎

Last edited by Fivestring; Feb 10th 2020 at 6:29 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Congratulations on a smooth landing.

The Canadian the customs declaration process seems to have changed AGAIN! I landed from Japan in early January and they gave out paper forms on the plane. You fill these out by hand then scan them in using the kiosks (why?).

Originally Posted by Fivestring View Post
We were given some good advice by the Immigration Officer which included, get your Social Insurance Number at the booth on the way out of Immigration, it only takes 5 minutes and saves another journey. The Government do not give out Health Cards anymore and will rely on your driving license for identification
I think you are getting a few different things mixed up here.

- The government no longer give out SIN Cards (you get a piece of paper instead).
- They most certainly DO issue Health Cards as you will not get seen without one (I have seen a Canadian youth turned away from a walk-in clinic as he 'lost' his OHIP card).
- Yes, your Ontario (or whatever) driving licence acts as an ID card (oddly, places will not accept your photo OHIP card as proof of id).

Last edited by Hurlabrick; Feb 10th 2020 at 7:32 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Thanks for your comments Hurlabrick.

Yes I got a piece of paper with my SIN.

My comment about the OHIP card was as told to me by the Immigration Officer. I will let you know what happens 🤨
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
Congratulations on a smooth landing.

The Canadian the customs declaration process seems to have changed AGAIN! I landed from Japan in early January and they gave out paper forms on the plane. You fill these out by hand then scan them in using the kiosks (why?)..
Whether you get a form or not depends on which terminal you arrive at. For Terminal 1, you get a form on the plane, for Terminal 3 and Billy Bishop, you don’t- unless this has changed very recently.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 View Post
Whether you get a form or not depends on which terminal you arrive at. For Terminal 1, you get a form on the plane, for Terminal 3 and Billy Bishop, you don’t- unless this has changed very recently.
Could be. We landed 5th January at Pearson from an Air Canada flight, dont recall which terminal, I thought it might be T1.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
Could be. We landed 5th January at Pearson from an Air Canada flight, dont recall which terminal, I thought it might be T1.
Yep - AC at Terminal 1. There is an eDeclaration app you can get whereby you can generate a bar code in advance to save time at the machine but that only works at Terminal 3 and BB unfortunately.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Yep, AC flies out of T1
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 View Post
Yep - AC at Terminal 1. There is an eDeclaration app you can get whereby you can generate a bar code in advance to save time at the machine but that only works at Terminal 3 and BB unfortunately.
Aaaah, got it. Yes, I have the CBSA declaration app and had the barcode at the ready, only to be floored with paper declarations!!!
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto

My omission.

We flew Cathay Pacific and landed at Terminal 3. That’s where we found the machines 😎
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

Thanks for posting about your experience, a great resource for those who have yet to undergo their 'landing'

I've moved your thread to the main Canada forum as the comments are veering away from Immigration subjects.. and into the realms of SIN, Health and airport matters. We try to keep the Immigration forum strictly to immigration and Citizenship..
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

Thanks Siouxie,

I guess that we all have different experiences and whilst the rules are there to be adhered to, some interpretation sometimes causes problems. I will update when I find out about my OHIP card 😎.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

Hi,
Did you take private health insurance to cover the 3 month OHIP wait? Pls could you tell me the details? Thanks !
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

Hi Winterdiva

After a couple of refusals because we were not starting or ending in UK, we went with The Destination Travel Group.

I am not recommending them as so far they have only taken our money, I have not fingers crossed had to claim.

The group appear to be underwritten by Manulife So I have a reasonable trust that they are reliable.
I hope that helps. 🪕
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

Originally Posted by Fivestring View Post
Hi Winterdiva

After a couple of refusals because we were not starting or ending in UK, we went with The Destination Travel Group.

I am not recommending them as so far they have only taken our money, I have not fingers crossed had to claim.

The group appear to be underwritten by Manulife So I have a reasonable trust that they are reliable.
I hope that helps. 🪕
thanks! Would you mind telling me how much you paid?
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: Landing at Toronto - our journey

The cost will depend on a number of factors, amount of cover, number of persons and ages. I suggest that you look them up and work out a quote. About 400 dollars each Canadian rings a bell
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